There’s a verdict in Jai’s custody battle for Archie, Emmerdale’s Chris Bisson tells Soaplife. But is it the verdict Jai wants?
As the court case over Archie’s custody reaches its climax, it looks as if Jai Sharma has everything sewn up. He plays the doting dad, tells the court his wife is pregnant and stresses that Archie’s mum, Rachel, has a drugs charge hanging over her head. What could possibly go wrong?
“Megan’s not in court to back Jai up,” says Chris.
What happens when Megan doesn’t show in court?
“Jai’s anxious. He knows his story will stack up better than Rachel’s, but he knows he has to use the fact he has a wife to his advantage. Fathers have to work harder to get custody in this country. He tells the court his wife has morning sickness and he reveals Archie’s going to have a sibling. He’s feeling smug at that point, but he knows Megan [Gaynor Faye] has to turn up.”
And she does. Then what happens?
“When Megan shows up, she’s with Leyla [Roxy Shahidi]. They burst through the doors into the private hearing just as Jai is concluding what he thinks has been a very successful performance. The last time he saw Leyla she was crying because Jai had dumped her and Megan was triumphant. The fact they’re together doesn’t bode well…”
Does Jai get custody?
“I can’t tell you that. But, afterwards, Rishi [Bhasker Patel] is angry with him over the way he’s treated Megan – Jai wants to leave her penniless. Rishi turns his back on Jai, which is tough, because Jai doesn’t have any friends left.”
How does he feel about Megan’s pregnancy?
“He and Megan are enemies, but he’s promised to look after her and the baby now she’s pregnant. He doesn’t love Megan, but he wants to do the right thing and look after his unborn child. His paternal instinct is his only redeeming quality, but it’s also his Achilles’ heel.”
Then Megan tells him she’s had a miscarriage…
“And Jai is devastated. The one thing he really craves is his own children.”
Can Jai ever redeem himself?
“We know that, underneath, he’s a genuinely nice character who’s been damaged. All this has been driven by his desire to be with his son. It’s been that way ever since Rachel [Gemma Oaten] fell pregnant.”
Do you enjoy playing Jai as a villain?
“It’s much more fun. I look at my scripts sometimes and think, ‘What’s he doing?!’ People tell me on Twitter that they want to hit the TV when Jai’s on, which is a good thing.”